When I last posted about New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, I emphasized that amid the media reports that had been swirling around, it needed to be remembered that Hernandez should nonetheless was entitled to a legal presumption of innocence. That principle is embodied in the U.S. Constitution, and for a very good reason.
That post was written about three days ago, on June 26 2013. Today, critical legal developments arose, which substantially alter both the present and future for Hernandez. Earlier tonight, I appeared as legal analyst on WBZ-AM 1030’s flagship show, Nightside with Dan Rea, to discuss these developments.
Hernandez was arraigned earlier today in Attleboro District Court on a charge of Murder in the First Degree. An arraignment is (usually) a brief appearance before a court, where the Commonwealth formally presents the charges and the initial evidence against the defendant, and the defendant (almost always) enters a plea of Not Guilty. As I said, it’s typically a very brief, routine proceeding. In almost all cases, an Assistant District Attorney, usually a newly-minted attorney who has been out of law school less than five years, presents the charges on behalf of the District Attorney’s office that is involved. (That’s not to say that these younger Assistant DA’s aren’t talented – they are – but the Number One prosecutor in that DA’s office – the elected District Attorney – does not normally appear.)